Why are insults stickier than compliments?

I got my first client for Brutal First Impressions yesterday! She wrote to me today telling me how useful my service was and how much she appreciated the unbiased opinion. I read her sweet words and was flattered, but then I went about my day as usual. A few hours later, I checked Facebook, and noticed a stranger had shared my BFI facebook page with a message saying “who would ever pay for this?” After reading that I was in a bad funk for hours.

Why did the great words someone went out of her way to write to me affect me for a few short minutes, but a mean comment lingered in the back of my mind for hours? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all dwelled on compliments the way we dwell on insults.

At the end of the day I have to embrace any insults hurled at my business because it means that I am growing. I’m leaving the safe bubble of people who care about my feelings, and entering a larger playing field where, yes, some people might not like me or my ideas.

It’s ironic that I have such thin skin when I have a business where I brutally judge people; however, I think it’s my thin skin that makes me better at consulting. I know how to give feedback in a caring, sensitive way that motivates someone to improve themselves not tear themselves down. I want to continue helping people be the best versions of themselves and grow my business so I know I need to thicken my skin so I don’t waste hours in a funk. The only way to thicken my skin is to expose it to the elements and that includes insults. But it also means surrounding myself with supportive people as well. Please follow Brutal First Impressions on Facebook, and remind me that I have an amazing support network :)

4 comments

  1. Maybe this person threw a dart because they envied you for stepping out and creating something new, possibly something they didn’t take the time to understand fully. I agree – harsh words sink deeper than kind words sometimes, don’t they? Stay tough and keep moving forward!

  2. I just took a look at your website and I have to say, it’s a wonderful, unique idea you have got there! It’s the first of its kind that I have come across. I wish you good luck and success! :)

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